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(Inter)Facing Darkness: a facilitated dialogue
Thursday, November 12 | 5 PM PST
Online: Zoom | Facebook Live
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Curators, artists, activists, advocates, and scholars are invited to meet virtually to reflect on the public opening of Facing Darkness, and consider how the show renders a public crisis and artists’ circumstances evident and knowable. Moderated by artist-scholar Paul Bonin-Rodriguez, with talks by curator Alma Ruiz and dancemaker Karen Sherman, “(Inter)facing Darkness” will frame a dialogue on how artists are operating as second responders, as thought leaders, and resource gatherers at this time. Participants will be invited to speak on their experience of the show at this moment.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Formerly a writer-performer and dancer, Paul Bonin-Rodriguez is a scholar-artist who researches systems of support and training for cultural professionals. At the University of Texas at Austin, he is the founding Chair of the undergraduate Minor in Arts Management and Administration (MAMA) and has contributed significantly to the Department of Theatre and Dance’s professional development curriculum. Dr. Bonin-Rodriguez is the author of Performing Policy: How Politics and Cultural Programs Redefined U.S. Artists for the Twenty-first Century (2015), which assesses how arts policy research and development initiatives since the 1990s have radically reshaped artists’ careers nationwide. He is currently at work on a second book focused on artist networks. Still active in both the arts and scholarship, he is the Editor of Artivate: a Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts (U. of Ark. Press), and leads its Editorial Board.
Karen Sherman makes work that incorporates her background in dance, writing, theater, music, and the handyman arts. Hands-on in all aspects of her work, she choreographs and performs, builds sets and props, designs sound, and writes text. Her explorations in craft and visual art, including glassblowing, woodworking, and sculpture, illuminate how the body extends to and through other materials, culminating in an interdependent world where objects elucidate bodies, choreography is language, and words become tools. Her day job as a freelance stage technician, technical director, and production manager helps her to strategize the technical execution of her work as she creates it, directly support other artists in the creation of their own work, and to serve the field as a whole. In conjunction with her show Soft Goods, which explored work, death, loss, and the occupational self-obliteration of stagehands, she partnered with Behind the Scenes, a national support organization.
Alma Ruiz is an independent curator and Senior Fellow at the Center for Business and Management of the Arts at Claremont Graduate University. She is a former senior curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, where she curated numerous exhibitions focusing on the postwar period in Italy and Latin America, as well as on emerging artists. In addition to having served as the curator of the 20 Bienal de Arte Paiz in Guatemala City, she has been a guest curator at the Fundación Jumex, Mexico City; the Fundación Telefónica, Buenos Aires; the Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv; the Craft and Folk Art Museum (now the Craft Contemporary), and the Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles. Ruiz has acted as a juror for numerous exhibitions and biennials in the United States and Latin America. She has been a panelist for The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans and Creative Capital Foundation in New York, the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in Philadelphia, and many more.